This is something that we’ve slowly been getting better at, and we’re trying to stay thoughtful about it while we do it.
I don’t have a problem with rules, I have a problem with creating an environment that creates rule-following machines.*I see a LOT of coworking spaces where staff and members alike are more worried about following the rules than looking after each other. *
So about 5 years ago, I started this by trying to write down the fundamentals about how I make decisions, so that our community could better understand why things work. The result has been live on our public website for quite a while, broken down into a sort of “plinko board” of actions that we always strive for, and actions we try to avoid. It’s sort of like a hybrid of a SOP and a living breathing action-oriented version of our community values, documented:
…help unlikely groups of likeminded people form relationships.
…focus on people and their interactions, and the formation of relationships.
…help people tell the stories of the experiences they have in Philadelphia.
…trust people to do the right thing.
…guide people to being good citizens of Indy Hall and of Philadelphia.
…support people in their goals of building businesses to last, in Philadelphia and for Philadelphia.
…do anything against our community’s interest.
…focus on desks or square footage.
…create something only because we think we’re supposed to.
…accept the status quo.
…accept a “no” at face value.
…compromise our core values.
…prioritize a transaction before a relationship.
Every day, we:
…keep people at the center of every action, interaction, and decision.
…welcome new community members, and make it clear that Indy Hall is theirs, not just ours.
…always look for a way to say yes.
…teach others in our immediate and neighboring communities how we operate.
I literally use these guidelines for decision making 100x a day, and it’s awesome to watch my team and even members use and reference this when figuring out how to make things work.
A simpler version that we put on our welcome one-pagers, and include as a major part of our tour, is to:
- Look after yourself
- Look after each other
- Look after this place
In all cases, we’re SUPER careful in our language choice to make it clear, before providing SOP documentation, that anything documented is meant to help, but not constrain. Any “rule” is open to being adjusted, adapted, or rewritten to help us better achieve our goals working together.
I’m curious how others have found balance between SOP and handbook-style documentation, and still allowing/encouraging people to “color outside of the lines” and trusting people to do what’s right?
On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM, Vaibhav N [email protected] wrote:
We’ve been doing the same, except didn’t term it as SOP, but rather created a FAQ Document where we had several questions about coworking and coworkers being answered. And keeping it on Google Docs make sense so that you can make edits and additions while on the go. You never know when the right idea might just pop and you would want to make that necessary addition to it on the phone or tab.
New Delhi, India
On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:26:01 PM UTC+5:30, Brian Fisher wrote:
I am close to opening my new space and our investors are already looking to the future! We are 90% pre-sold on dedicated offices (doors open August 15). Anyways, I have been the operations manager for other businesses in the past and have had to set up SOP manuals. Has anyone else done this? Are these common in the coworking world? It would seem to make sense, especially for larger spaces or multi-location spaces.
Cedar Park, TX
Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.
Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com
My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten